Tuesday, October 12, 2010

tmi tuesday: saggy tits are the bomb.

Henri Matisse - study for "pink nude"
charcoal on paper,  34 x 48 cm, private collection - 1935
As part of the WonderBra "Rediscover Your Wonder" project, I’m attending my first ever life drawing class tonight. If you aren’t familiar with what life drawing is, it’s a class that usually takes place in an art studio with a single model, who holds poses on a broad stand or platform. Students sit around the platform and practice drawing the human figure, which is considered essential to honing one’s drawing skills. Also, the model is nude. That’s “nude”, not “naked”. While the two words are similar, they have very different meanings when applied to art.

“Naked” implies a position of weakness. Bare, stripped, without adequate clothing. “Nude” is a choice – a position of power. An unclothed human figure.

Since I’ve never been to a life drawing class, I had my friend Alana (artist, musician, teacher, soul sister) give me the run down on what to expect and how to not make an ass of myself. She told me as long as I remember the following things, I’d be just fine:
  1. don’t be intimidated about being a beginner – nobody cares what you are drawing, they are too busy drawing
  2. the model will hold a variety of poses over the course of the class – a series of short poses (lasting no more than a few minutes) are held as a warm-up. Longer poses follow (lasting 10 to 20 minutes).
  3. don’t talk to or distract the model while he or she is holding a pose
  4. don’t talk with other students or move to another seat (you get the view you get, so deal with it)
  5. any requests for specific poses are made to the class instructor beforehand
  6. during breaks the model will put on a robe and relax – if the model shows a willingness to socialize you may speak with the model but keep it professional
  7. don’t be picky about the age, sex or other physical characteristics of artists’ models – a good instructor will hire a wide range of models to give participants the most experience in figure drawing
  8. saggy tits are the bomb” (that’s a direct quote from Alana) – drawing the perky little breasts of an 18 year old gets boring fast, while the breasts of a woman who has breastfed her babies, have stretch marks, and have a story to tell are much more interesting and beautiful to draw
This conversation led to a very interesting discussion between Alana and me. I asked her if she thought she could model and she said she thought so, in the right conditions with the right people. If you had asked me that question before I had kids, I would have said absolutely not (which is interesting, because back then my body was in much better shape than it is now). But if you asked me that today, I’d say “probably”. I am so much more comfortable with my body now, even though my nipples don’t point to the sun, I have stretch marks here and there, and my tummy is not as flat as it once was. When you give birth, everyone and the janitor sees you at your most vulnerable, with all your business out there for the world to see. You are in so much pain you really don’t care; you are focused on getting the job done and getting that baby out of you – now!

Anyone who has breastfed gets over being shy about someone getting a peak at your nipples in a hurry. I can’t even count the number of times one of my babies decided to pop off or that he was done eating and I flashed a family member or complete stranger. It really isn’t a big deal and I absolutely refused to go and hide to feed my baby or wear one of those tent get ups to cover something that is completely natural and beautiful.

I’ve got my pencils and papers and I’m ready to go appreciate the beautiful human form. I hope the model is female. I’m in the mood to draw some saggy tits.
Check out WonderBra.ca to see what the other Women of Wonder are up to!

5 comments:

  1. Thats so awesome! Wish I could join you! Post up your sketches after class ;)

    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris - if you can make it out to O-town by 6pm I'll drive you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vanessa5:14 PM

    I've done both nude and clothed modeling work for artists and photographers, it's really enjoyable.

    I can't draw to save my life, but it was really cool to see the way different people could depict my body through art ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Dear me. Not one of my finest quotes, but I still stand by it.
    A. xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. I told you I was going to quote you...but I think we were well into our 3rd bottle of wine by then, much to Jay's chagrine.

    ReplyDelete